In my various volunteer positions, I have had the pleasure of working with a myriad of people across the district and our town. I believe the best outcomes are achieved when we listen to others, especially to people with perspectives different from our own. My math background has trained me how to analyze problems quickly and thoroughly, getting to the heart of problems and knowing what questions to ask in order to solve them.
The topics below come from questions I am asked on a regular basis, and I will add to the list as I continue to hear from each of you. While we might not agree on every issue, I do believe we can work together for the benefit of our students and our community.
The governing board represents the community in prioritizing the budget, setting and enforcing policy, and adopting curricula. The board also hires our superintendent and holds him/her accountable. My vision (on the home page) lays out how I will approach each of these responsibilities.
Outside of our homes, our educators have the greatest impact on our children day-to-day. In an average week, they are with our children about 30% of their waking hours. As a parent, I want to make sure we retain and attract the very best educators our state has to offer. I believe this is achieved by not only offering competitive salaries and effective district support and training, but by encouraging positive and constructive parent involvement.
As a district, we should manage every taxpayer dollar wisely by being deliberate with our spending and prioritizing our funds to align with our educational goals. It is critical that we account for and are transparent about our spending and that we take to the voters only those initiatives that support our stated priorities.
A good curriculum is vital to student achievement and should be chosen to give our teachers the very best tools to help our students not only succeed but excel. In navigating some of the nuances in any curriculum, I trust that our teachers understand and can well represent our community. Any concerns about curriculum implementation should be dealt with in a respectful way, between parents and teachers first, as we listen to understand each other and work together for the benefit of our children.
I do not support Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in our schools or implemented in our curriculum. I do believe in teaching critical thinking skills and in having honest conversations to better understand one another. I also believe in teaching our state standards and working with our local community to select the curriculum. Discrimination or racism of any kind should not be tolerated in our school community and everyone, students and staff alike, should feel safe in our schools.
I do not support Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) being taught in our schools, as that instruction should be left to the parents. I do support human reproduction being taught as part of the biology curriculum according to state standards.
I am hoping the decisions surrounding COVID-19 are behind us. However, I know many will ask my stance on this issue. My vote would have been to do everything within our power to keep our kids in school with masks optional. Ideally all families and staff would have a choice to do what they feel is best for their individual circumstances.
School districts have the opportunity to ask the community to approve a bond through a general election vote. Bond funds can only be used for capital expenses, such as buildings, buses or technology. Each time a bond is approved, the district is required by law to use those funds only as they were outlined in the bond request. I will support bonds only when necessary to maintain the level of education that we, as a community, expect from Gilbert Public Schools.
As a district, we should be fiscally responsible in order to build trust among our stakeholders, so when it comes time to request a budget override, the community can have confidence that we are efficiently utilizing our current funds and are asking for only the funds necessary to reflect their educational goals and values. I will support an override if we, as a district, have met these requirements.